Bringing YA 2 You: Vote for Orlando!


Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here’s your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy–and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)–and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

ya2u books

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just go to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you’re there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books–TEN signed books in total!

Here’s why the YA2U Team should
come to MY hometown…ORLANDO, FLORIDA!
Okay Orlando and Central Florida peeps! Let’s get these amazing authors to our City Beautiful! My feelings about Orlando would be best expressed in a list!
1. Fun in the Sun! The weather in Orlando is pretty much awesome. It’s almost always warm and sunny which is why people CinderellasCastlefrom all over the world come to spend their vacations here- GREAT POOL WEATHER!
2. Mickey! Yes, we are home to the most famous mouse in the world. Mickey can be seen frolicking in the warm Florida sun (see #1) at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom or any of the other smaller Disney attractions.
HarryPotter3. Harry Potter! In addition to that cute little mouse, Orlando also hosts the one and only Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios! The only place that you can get your own wand, down a mug of butter beer and fly on a hippogriff!
4. Shamu! Another famous creature whose residence is in Orlando? Shamu the whale! Shamu and her friends can be seen every day at Sea World! Plus there are penguins, dolphins and even a narwhal or two!
5. The Magic! Do you fancy basketball?! Orlando is home to the NBA team The Orlando Magic!
6. Boy Bands! Both N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys were formed in Orlando. Also, Matchbox 20 and Mandy Moore are from the area too! Yay for 90s music!NSYNC
7. Readers! Orlando is home to many readers! We’re also home to tons of librarians who jump at the chance to get their students to meet authors! Also, because Orlando is in Florida, and Florida is a little out-of-the-way, we’re not often a tour stop for authors…so we’re a littler author starved and would FREAK to have such amazing authors visit our city!
Why should the YA2U Team come to
your hometown?
Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest!

Click Here to Enter the Contests!


Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite New-To-Me Authors In 2012

Welcome back!

Every week I participate in the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday event. Each Tuesday the lovely people at Broke and Bookish post a theme to create a list by. This week’s theme is theme is My Favorite New-To-Me Authors of 2012.

Well, 2012 is almost over! Can you believe it?! This year has gone by so quickly! I read a lot of books this year and a lot of them were by authors I hadn’t read before. Some I loved and some I wasn’t a huge fan of. Below you’ll find a list of the ten new-to-me authors that I whose work I really loved!

Kami Kinard (The Boy Project)

James Dashner (The Maze Runner series)

Veera Hiranandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl)

Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Jack Gantos(Dead End in Norvelt)

Juliet Marillier (Wildwood Dancing)

Ginny Rorby (Lost in the River of Grass)

Tera Lynn Childs (Forgive My Fins)

Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water)

Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes)

P.W. Catanese (Happenstance Found)

I hope that if you haven’t yet read any of these authors you try to soon because they’re all talented storytellers and their books are so worthwhile! Were there any new-to-you authors that you discovered in 2012?


Tasty Treats (4)

Hi there!

I’ve missed you all so much! I have been so crazy busy with work and other work related things that I’ve been memeing only…which is kinda lame I know, but something had to give for a little while! Things are kinda back to normal pace now (at least for a little while) so I’m trying to start making up for lost blogging time.

So, this is still a meme post, but I don’t do it on a weekly basis so I figure its different!

This week I have had the opportunity to get some tasty treats to add to my reading stack, so let’s see what they are!

Skinny A Girl Named Digit
I was able to pick up this copy of Skinny by Donna Cooner for free Tuesday morning at our county’s annual Principal’s Breakfast. Every year our local Media Specialist professional organization hosts a breakfast thanking our principals for support.  Everyone gets to leave with a free book, so when I saw Skinny on the table I snatched it up because I’ve heard great things about it!  I also saw A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan at my public library this week and it just sounds so cute I had to grab it!

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece Dead City

I recently discovered that there is a Forever Young Adult book club meeting at my public library…I can’t wait to check it out! Apparently My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher is their November read.  I’ll be honest, it sounds really weird, but I’m going to give it a try! This weekend I was able to spend a few days at the Florida Association for Media in Education conference, which I love! I presented on a monthly event we do in my Media Center, threw a social hour for our local organization, and got a chance to meet local Orlando author James Ponti, who wrote Dead City.  He was really friendly and funny and I can’t wait to start reading it!

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

You guys know how much I love Ally Carter’s books, so I was so happy to finally find the audiobook for Uncommon Criminals in my local library!  I’m already on disc five of six, so obviously it’s a good one!

Read Tshirt

A the FAME conference, there is always a lady selling bookish and library related -.  I’ve never had the chance to get any, so this year I decided I was going to buy myself a tshirt…and I did! There was this super cute hoodie I wanted, but it was like $40, so I chose this cute t-shirt instead.  It fits perfectly and I can’t wait to wear it to school!

So there you have it- all the fun bookish things I received this week! What fun books or bookish treats did you get recently?


Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Authors by Genre

Welcome back!

Today is Tuesday so, as always, that means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday post.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and is a fun weekly event where book bloggers post lists that all fit a particular theme.

Today’s theme is “Top Ten Favorite Authors In X Genre”.  I had a difficult time with this because I try to jump around genres a lot so I’m reading a wide range of YA and MG fiction.  Because of this, I can’t always say that I have ten favorite authors in one specific genre.  So, instead I decided to list ten different genres and my favorite author in that category.  So, here we go My Top Ten Favorite Authors by Genre!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher1. Fantasy: Catherine Fisher

Lola and the Boy Next Door  by Stephanie Perkins2. Contemporary Romance: Stephanie Perkins

The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale3. Fairy Tale Redo: Shannon Hale

Across the Universe by Beth Revis4. Sci Fi: Beth Revis

The Maze Runner by James Dashner5. Dystopian: James Dashner

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter6. Spy Fiction (I’m pretty sure I made this genre up): Ally Carter

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher7. Realistic Contemporary: Jay Asher

Smile by Raina Telegmier8. Graphic Novel: Raina Telgmeier

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell9. Historical Fiction: Judy Blundell

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare10. Paranormal Romance: Cassandra Clare

So, there you have it!  There are, of course, other fabulous authors in each of these genres, but these are just some that stand out to me. Who are your favorites?



Bookish Goals for 2012

It’s always good to have goals, right?

I tend to stay away from making “resolutions” in the new year because I think its silly to resolve to be better or give something up just because its January.  I’d rather make a goal to try to reach.  So I am making some bookish/blogging goals for 2012.

Now, as an educator I know a goal has to be specific, measurable, and realistic.  So, lets see if my goals fit the description.

2012 Debute Author ChallengeGoal #1: Participate in and complete the 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this challenge and it sounds like a good way to discover new authors and meet some new book bloggers. All I have to do is read and review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.  Sounds good!  NetGalley is helping me out with the Advanced Reader Copies  (thank you NetGalley!) so I can get my hands on some of these titles.  Here are the books I have e-book copies of and plan on using in the 2012 DAC:

  • Halflings by Heather Burch
  • Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani
  • May B. by Caroline Rose
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

So, thats already 8 titles I plan on counting towards my goal. Specific? Yes.  Measurable? Yes. Realistic?  I think so.  That’s 1 book per month or more if I’d like. I can spread them out however I like. Don’t forget I have two and a half months of summer break to look forward to!

Goal #2: Read 90 Books

This sounds pretty big for some people.  However, I read 69 books in 2011 so I think that 90 is a pretty good goal.  I think I could have read that much in 2011 if I had started the year with the same momentum I have now.  At the start of 2011 I was just trying out this YA/MG book blogging thing and wasn’t as purposeful about it.   So, specific? Yes. Measurable? Yes.  I keep track of all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads profile. Realistic?  Possibly.  Can I increase the number of books I read by 21?  Hopefully!!
Goal #3: Host 1 Giveaway

I’ve had the chance this past year to win a few giveaways hosted on other blogs.  I’d like to be able to do something similar and give away books as prizes.  I would have loved to do one to commemorate the one year anniversary of BookTasty, but I don’t think I can get it all set up in three days.  So, I’ll wait until another opportune time this year.  I will need some help with this though, so any other book bloggers out there who have hosted a giveaway before please feel free to send advice!  Specific? Sure!  Measurable? Yes.  Realistic? I think it is.  Remember I have until December 31, 2012 to achieve this goal!

So, there you go!  My goals for the new year!  Will I keep you posted?  Oh most definitely!

It seems that everyone else is making goals for 2012, what are some of your bookish or blogging goals for 2012?


Top Ten Tuesday: November New Releases

Its November, my birthday month!

Yea for cake and a trip to Epcot!

This year I’ll be sharing my month with quite a few newly published titles.  Here are ten books that are celebrating their birth this month as well.

My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski (November 1)

The Daughters Join the Party (Daughters #4)by Joanna Philbin (November 1)

Crossed (Matched Trilogy 2) by Allie Condie (November 1)

Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle 4) by Christopher Paolini (November 8 )

Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough (November 8 )

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (November 15)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (#6) by Jeff Kinney (November 15)

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix (November 15)

M is for Mama’s Boy (N.E.R.D.S. series #2) by Michael Buckley (November 15)

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Caroline Mackler (November 21)


Recommended Reading

Recently, author Sara Zarr gave Christianity Today a list of her Top 5  Books for Young Adults.  Sara has written three novels, Story of a Girl (2007), Sweethearts (2008), Once Was Lost (2009), and has a new novel, How to Save a Life, which came out this past October.  I haven’t read any of her works, but have heard very good things.

So, anytime an author makes reading recommendations I think its important to listen, because they pretty much know what they’re talking about. So to read Sara Zarr’s list of her Top 5 Books for Young Adults, click on the link HERE.



A Bit of a Crush Now

Day Two of the FAME Conference!

I’ve been to some really helpful sessions today, but this is not the place for that.

This is the place for…more authors! During the conference I also got to meet both Gordon Korman (!) and Roland Smith (!).

I was able to attend Roland Smith’s author session and I must say if you ever get the chance to hear him speak DO IT! He has lived such an interesting life and he is a very captivating speaker.


Smith accepted an award for his novel I.Q; Independence Hall which was voted (by the kids in FL) the Florida Sunshine State Award for 2010-2011. Both my students and I love this series.

He signed some books for my school (they all did!)


Additionally, I was also able to hear Gordon Korman speak about some of his works and how he published his first book in 7th grade! My students really enjoy Korman’s books, especially the his books in The 39 Clues series, Schooled and Swindle.


Korman also signed some books for my Media Center! Somewhere in the middle of all this, I must confess, that I developed a mini crush on Gordon Korman! He’s adorable, hilarious, and he writes books my kids love; it’s the perfect storm!!


Seriously love the FAME conference!!


Geeking Out, Just a Little

Today I’m blogging from the 39th Annual FAME Conference.

You may be thinking “FAME? I’m gonna live forever!?!”

Not that FAME! This is the Florida Association for Media in Education so I’m here with hundreds of other Media Specialists from around Florida. It’s pretty cool to hang out with and learn alongside fellow book lovers all day!

What’s also great about the FAME conference is that there are authors here!! Last year I met Caroline B. Cooney, Margaret Peterson Haddix (!), and Jessice Day George (!!). I completely geeked out on them and this year is no different.

So far today I’ve had a chance to chat with a few authors while they signed books for my kids. First up, M.C. Delaney author of Obi, Gerbil on the Loose which was a Sunshine State book (elementary) last year. My 6th graders like this title.


Now I also got to talk a little with Jennifer Allison author of the Gilda Joyce series. The newest in the series is set in St. Augustine, Florida which is right around the corner!


I’ve already reviewed books by the next two authors Greg Logsted and James
Preller since their books are on this year’s Sunshine State list. Greg Logsted wrote the spy novel, Alibi Junior High which I loved and so do my kids!

20111006-133746.jpg P.S. There may be a sequel in the works!

James Preller (super nice man! Loved chatting with him about his influences while writing Bystander.


Anything supernatural is a win with my girls at school. Kirsten White wrote Paranormalcy andSupernaturally. She was very friendly and enjoyed hearing about my students.


Thank you to all the authors who signed books and were so friendly!  Tomorrow Roland Smith and Gordon Korman will be speaking also! We so excited!


Tuesday Top Ten: My Favorite Young Adult/Middle Grades Authors

Once I find an author I like, I devour all of their books.  All of them.

This week’s Top Ten is focused on current favorite Young Adult/Middle Grades authors.  The titles next to the names are some I recommend.

10. Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

9. Gail Carson Levine:  Ella Enchanted, Fairest, Ever, Two Princesses of Bamarre

8. Libba Bray: The Gemma Doyle trilogy

7. Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instruments series, Clockwork Angel 

6. Heather Brewer: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series5. Jessica Day George: Dragon Slippers series, Sun and Moon Ice and Snow, Princess of the Midnight Ball

4. Margaret Peterson Haddix: The Missing series, Palace of Mirrors, Shadow Children Sequence, Just Ella

3. J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter series

2. Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games trilogy, The Underland Chronicles

1. Shannon Hale: Princess Academy, The Books of Bayern series, Book of a Thousand Days

There are obviously tons of other authors I’ve read and enjoy immensely, but there are my top favorites.  Other notable authors that were on the original list were: James Patterson, Gary Soto, Anthony Horowitz  and Jeff Kinney.

Any suggestions on authors I should check out, let me know!